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Richmond Mayor Announces New Office For Equitable Transit

People in front of mural of John Lewis
The new head of Richmond's Office of Equitable Transit and Mobility Dironna Moore Clarke (center) speaking at Tuesday's press conference. (Roberto Roldan/VPM News)

The City of Richmond will soon have an office focused on equitable transportation access.

Standing near a bus stop in the historically Black neighborhood of Fulton on Tuesday, Mayor Levar Stoney announced the creation of the Office of Equitable Transit and Mobility. The office will be housed within the existing Department of Public Works. 

Stoney said the office will help city officials ensure everyone has access to public transit regardless of their zip code. 

“Should the city of Richmond fund a new GRTC route? Does a certain bus not come as frequently as it needs to? The office will vision answers to these exact questions and find solutions,” Stoney said. 

In addition to public transit, Stoney says the Office of Equitable Transit and Mobility will also work to ensure low-income and minority communities have access to pedestrian infrastructure like sidewalks and bike lanes. Residents south of the James River have complained for years about having to walk and bike in the roadways. 

Also speaking at Tuesday's announcement was 1st District City Councilman Andreas Addison, who has championed ordinances related to the city’s Vision Zero initiative. With the expansion of the Pulse Rapid Transit line and restructuring of GRTC routes, Addison said it’s time to start thinking about creating more accessibility.

“Now is the time for next-level connectivity, where bike lanes connect the bus stops, where bus stops connect to points of interest with sidewalks that are walkable,” Addison said. 

Heading the Office of Equitable Transit and Mobility is Dironna Moore Clarke. According to her LinkedIn profile, Moore Clarke previously worked as the Transit General Manager for Petersburg’s bus system for seven years.

She said she wants the office to work on ensuring impacts on residents of low-income and minority neighborhoods are factored into the city’s long-term transportation planning.

“A safe, connected, equitable, multi-modal transit and mobility system is what we envision,” Moore Clarke said. 

Stoney said the creation of the office will not have any immediate cost to taxpayers, although he may look to expand the office during budget talks next year.